Durmitor National Park Scenic Drive
The ride through Durmitor National Park is an incredible one. We’re fortunate to have been able to ride it on our Honda Goldwing motorbike where got to enjoy all the twists and turns and had unobstructed views of the mountains, lakes, and valleys. From the lake down by Pluzine we took a crazy switchback mountain road to the top. The switchbacks were fairly normal but the crazy part was all of the tunnels we went through, some of the switchbacks were inside the tunnels! And the tunnels themselves were pretty rudimentary, just holes in the rock with no concrete lining or protection of any kind from rocks falling from the ceiling. Certainly the most basic type of tunnel we’ve ever ridden through.
Once at the top though, we came to a big farm with huts in the field you could rent overnight, and horses grazing in the pasture, all with a view of the mountaintops. All very pastoral and picturesque. We also made use of the cafe/restaurant and got some coffee, hot cocoa and some pastries. It was a nice place to relax after a challenging climb.
From the farm, we took the main road through the park toward Zabljak. It was a twisty turny road through rolling countryside on a high plateau. In all directions we could see the dramatic dolomite mountains, folded, twisted, and bent like a contortionist, that shouted the amazing geologic history of the region. It has all the beauty of the more famous Alps of Switzerland, Italy, and Austria, but without all the people. We saw all kinds of wildlife, as well as flocks of sheep and even the shepherds!
There were many hiking trails and dirt roads to explore the mountains even further, as well as camping areas and small huts to overnight. It’s hard to express how amazing the views were at the top of the world and we had so much of it to ourselves. So many views of majestic mountains from all directions with the panorama changing at every turn. It’s one of the few places we’ve traveled in the world to which we would like to return.
Đurđevića Tara Bridge
Once through the mountainous part of the park, we overnighted for two nights in the town of Zabljak. It’s a neat little town that people can use as the base camp for exploring this amazing and diverse region.
From Zabljak, we descended into the Tara River Gorge and crossed the famous Tara River Bridge (only to say we did it because we didn’t need to for the direction we were going). The bridge is pretty high up there, over 550 feet above the river and spans about 1,200 feet using 5 arches, the largest of which is nearly 400 feet. When it was completed in 1940, it was the largest bridge for vehicles in Europe.
We wound our way down the river valley on our motorbike enjoying the ride. It was difficult to see the river while riding owing to all of the trees on either side of the road. With more time to spend in the area, it would be a great place spend some time hiking, exploring, and river rafting. Again, a place to which we’d return if we got the chance to come back to Durmitor.
There’s no question that the mountain region of Montenegro is worthy of a visit and we highly recommend making an effort to get there. It’s surprising it’s not more popular, but that’s OK, we like the undiscovered regions as much as anywhere else!